Two new officers join Shelton Police force

The Shelton Police force added two new members to its family as Officer Victoria Chapman and Officer Raymond Laudato graduated from the CT Police academy back in June and are now completing their 10-week training period.

Laudato and Chapman said they both are dedicated to helping Shelton be an even better and safer city than it already is.

Officer Victoria Chapman

Although Chapman was recently sworn in as a Shelton police officer, she has been a part of the department’s records division for three years prior.

“It feels great to finally be on the other side,” Chapman said. “It’s very different. I got the opportunity to see how the force operates within the department as well as the chance to help people from the records window, but now I’m dealing with people on a day-to-day basis and am taking the initiative to help people first-hand.”

Chapman said she was 17 years old when she realized she wanted to be an officer.

She said after her cousin died in a street bike accident in Shelton, her career path changed and she made a vow to act as a resource to the people of the city.

Amid the controversy surrounding recent tragedies resulting in the deaths of civilians and police officers, Chapman said she wants to improve the relationship between public and the police.

“I want to help them and I want them to feel safe and comfortable coming to us for help,” said Chapman. “It will only get better from here, it’s what I am working for.”

She said she is confident that her being a lifelong Shelton resident will provide residents with extra comfort.

“I’ve lived here my whole life and I know a lot of people so I feel like more residents will feel comfortable coming to me for help,” said Chapman

Officer Ray Laudato

Laudato said he wanted to be a police officer since he was younger and was even a police explorer in Trumbull. He explained that his experience as a police explorer, along with a day he recalls while attending John Winthrop Elementary school in Bridgeport when emergency medical personnel, firefighters and police officers visited the school, inspired him to pursue a career in law enforcement.

He is finishing courses in social work and criminal justice at Sacred Heart University. Laudato has worked with the probation office and Bridgeport police before joining Shelton.

Since being sworn in on June 20, Laudato has begun the 10-week training every new officer undergoes, learning the daily responsibilities of the job while being graded by an assigned field training officer (FTO). Laudato said he feels lucky to have a spot on Shelton’s police force, as officers have already helped ease him during his transition.

“My staff is great and have been really helpful with my transition into the force so far,” said Laudato. “Everyone here does what they have to do and are willing to help each other out. I’m grateful.”

He said going from the six months he spent in the academy has required some adjustments.

“The transition has been smooth for the most part but the academy was teaching general skills versus the streets which requires you to get out and get familiar with the community,” said Laudato. “You’re no longer talking to retired officers; now you’re talking to people and have to do your job.”

Laudato is optimistic about his future in the department and excited to make a difference in the community.

“I just want to be fair with everybody and I want to help people that need it. It’s a great feeling knowing you made a positive difference in someone’s life,” said Laudato. “People look at police officers as robots. Before I was an officer and still as an officer, I am a person. I listen to music, I hang with my family, I just have a job that I have to do.”